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ASK ELIZABETH: Sweet Rice Flour, Mini Muffins and More!
Elizabeth Barbone
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Have a question for me? Send it to Email Me!

Dear Elizabeth:
Is there a substitute for sweet rice flour? I cannot buy it here in Colorado and your chocolate chip cookie recipe calls for white rice flour and sweet rice flour. --Janice

I haven't found a good substitute for sweet rice flour. Sweet rice flour is made from ground "sweet," or glutinous, rice. Due to its name, many bakers believe this rice is sweet in flavor. However, it is not.

Since sweet rice is high in amylopectin, which makes the rice "sticky" and provides a nice thickening agent to baked goods, there is no 1:1 substitute for sweet rice flour.

I would recommend that you order sweet rice flour on-line or through your local health food shops. In my area, I pick up sweet rice flour at our Asian market. (I use the Koda Farms brand.)

Dear Elizabeth,
My question is on using the pumpkin bread recipe for mini-muffins. How full should I fill the mini-cups; about how many minis will the recipe make?--Dorothy

The pumpkin spice recipe makes great mini-muffins! To prepare them, follow the recipe as written. Then fill each mini-muffin pan cavity approximately 3/4 full to achieve a "domed" muffin. If you prefer a muffin with a flat top, fill the cavities about 1/2 full.

Bake the muffins for about 22 minutes. (I can't believe such small muffins take that long, but they really do!

I use a muffin pan that has 24 cavities. In my oven I am able to fit two pans comfortably. Since my pumpkin spice bread recipe will make about 96 muffins, baking two pans at a time is a good idea!

Dear Elizabeth,
Have you ever tried baking with Splenda to decrease sugar quantities? I understand it is supposed to have the same action in baking and food production as sugar, but I don't know if that holds for gluten-free baking. Thanks - Ellie

Several of my readers need to use Splenda. My recipes work very well with "Splenda." However, there are some differences, of course, from the original recipe. Splenda does *not* brown well (this can lead to really pale gluten-free foods), activate yeast or retain moisture as well (or at all) as sugar.

Therefore, I advise Splenda only be used when absolutely necessary. While the recipes work, the finished product isn't exactly the same. So, unless you are on a medical diet that requires Splenda, stick with regular sugar.

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